Everlasting Father

“For unto us a Child is born,
Unto us a Son is given;
And the government will be upon His shoulder.
And His name will be called
Wonderful, Counselor, Mighty God,
Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace.” NKJV


Dad loved Christmas. The season began with a big box of oranges and a bowl of mixed nuts and a nutcracker to break the shells. Mom slipped a few wrapped gifts almost nightly so that when we woke up in the morning something new would be there to ramp up our anticipation. And on Christmas Eve, it sounded like a frantic North Pole Workshop outside my bedroom door.

Names of the Messiah

Of all the names of the Messiah listed in Isaiah 9:6,   Everlasting Father is perhaps my favorite, because I understand and appreciate the term “Father.” It evokes memories of protection and care. At Christmas it reminds me of a father who loved to give gifts, full of anticipation and Santa Claus-ish fun. 

Our understanding of Everlasting Father may be hedged in by our own earthly fathers, good or bad. Yet, while I am privileged to have had an earthly father who loved me and cared for me, I’m quickly overwhelmed by the title, “Everlasting Father.” 

God the Father, Jesus the Son, and Jesus’ declaration that “the Father and I are One,” befuddles my brain. How is it all possible? It’s too big, too great, too vast. Too infinite. He is that far beyond human understanding. 

Tasked with being Jesus’ earthly father, Joseph, surely found his own story mind-boggling as well. Betrothed to Mary, he had no conception of what lay ahead. He discovered his fiancé was pregnant. Knowing himself not to be the child’s physical father, his world turned upside down. Shocked, devastated, and confused, his plans for their lives together lay in shambles. 

Joseph’s life would never be the same

Certainly Mary’s life would always bear the brunt of people’s scorn and disgrace, but Joseph’s life would never be the same either. He would not escape unscathed. It’s mark would not easily erase.    

By law, sexual unfaithfulness during the binding betrothal period carried the death penalty by stoning. But Joseph, “a just man,” (Matthew 1:19), who cared deeply for Mary, chose to show compassion. He decided to “divorce her quietly.”  

In his troubled sleep, the angel of the Lord appeared to him. 

Joseph, son of David, do not be afraid to take to you Mary your wife, for that which is conceived in her is of the Holy Spirit. And she will bring forth a Son, and you shall call His name Jesus, for He will save His people from their sins. Matthew 1:20-21 NKJV

From that day forward, Joseph became the earthly protector of God’s Son. The Baby in his care, was the long awaited Messiah, the Everlasting Father. It was a difficult assignment, as the forces of heaven and earth pitted against Jesus.   

From that day forward, Joseph became the earthly protector of God’s Son. Click To TweetJoseph’s role as earthly father would have been challenged in many ways. 

With every mundane question, “Is this your son?” and accompanying each introduction, “this is my son,” Joseph would be reminded of his Son’s true Father. No earthly father had ever before been asked to do what he did.   

In previous posts we’ve looked at the titles, Wonderful Counselor and Mighty God. They describe a Ruler beyond human understanding, stronger and more powerful than any person can imagine. The name, Everlasting Father, depicts  a self-existing, Infinite Father of time, without beginning or end.

Everlasting Father means Father of Eternity. Isaiah’s forward look describes a Messiah without end. Our backward look, sees Jesus proclaiming Himself without end or beginning. He existed before Abraham (John 8:58), and in creation (John 1:1). 

The name, Everlasting Father, depicts a self-existing, Infinite Father of time, without beginning or end. Click To TweetHe declared “I and my Father are one,” (John 10:30); and chastised Philip with these words: “Whoever has seen me has seen the Father,” (John 14:9-10).    

Jesus the Messiah, the Everlasting Father, was in nature and essence one with God. Unlike human fathers whose presence will one day return to dust, Jesus is our Father For Ever. 

Not a Christmas goes by without me thinking about my dad’s love for the holiday. He did his best to make the season special and make our wishes come true. But, his time came and is now gone. Unlike human fathers whose presence will one day return to dust, Jesus is our Father For Ever. Click To Tweet

This Christmas, I am acutely aware of life’s fleeting. I recognize how brief is our time span, and I’m drawn to the importance of what lasts for more than a day or a season. May we mark this advent time by lingering in the presence of a Father Forever.


*Feature Photo by Loyd Schroeder ca. 1955

12 Replies

  1. Elizabeth Bradley Reply

    Beautifully written as always! I’ve found myself thinking quite a bit about Joseph this past week and how much he needed to trust God in order to fulfill his role.
    Merry Christmas to you and yours!

    • Sylvia Schroeder Reply

      Thanks so much Elizabeth! Always sweet to hear from you. There are so many pieces of the story which we know little about. What about Mary’s mother and father? I know we have exactly what God wanted us to know, but there are so many curiosities which amplify the significance of the story. Thanks for reading and I appreciate you sharing your thoughts!

  2. Katherine Pasour Reply

    Like you, Sylvia, I’m becoming more and more aware of how fleeting life is. Although we know, as believers, we are assured of eternal life with our Savior, our fragile presence on earth still tugs at our hearts. I’m so glad you have precious memories of your earthly father. Wishing you and your family a wonderful Christmas.

    • Sylvia Schroeder Reply

      Thank you Katherine. Wishing you and yours a precious holiday filled with the joy of Jesus!

  3. Nancy E. Head Reply

    Our life is a vapor. Thanks for your insight, Sylvia. God bless and merry Christmas!

  4. Don Pahl Reply

    Reading your post, Sylvia, I was struck by Matthew’s words that Joseph did “as the angel of the Lord commanded him!” But he wasn’t “commanded” to take Mary (unless their conversation was longer than Matthew recorded). Instead, the angel commanded, “Do not be afraid!” From that point on, Joseph humbly and fearlessly fathered our Eternal Father!

    Thank you, Sylvia!

    • Sylvia Schroeder Reply

      I thought of something similar this morning, when I heard a news spot about how many children are raised without the presence of a father in their homes. At this time of year, my mind went to Joseph. I am glad he took on his earthly fatherly responsibility with humility and boldness.

  5. Terri Miller Reply

    Beautifully written. I like thinking about an Everlasting Father who loves me with an Everlasting Love. Thanks, Sylvia. Merry Christmas 🎄

    • Sylvia Schroeder Reply

      Merry Christmas to you too Terri! An Everlasting Father who loves me with an Everlasting Love is a beautiful thought!

  6. Candyce Carden Reply

    Sobering and comforting at the same time.
    Merry Christmas, Sylvia!